If I imagine myself entering that debate today, I’d be more likely to take the opposite side. Ask me what changed my mind, and I’ll shrug, tell you that I guess my priorities shifted.But when I read Parable, there’s…nothing really wrong with it. But I can’t help noticing that eight years ago, New Atheism was really popular, and now it’s really unpopular.There’s one more possibility that bothers me even worse than the socialization or traumatization theory.I’m going to use science-y sounding terms just as an example, but I don’t actually think it’s this in particular – we know that the genes for liberal-conservative differences are mostly NMDA receptors in the brain.A lot of the “wisdom” I’ve “gained” with age is the kind of wisdom that helps me channel James C. Then I realize it’s considered low-status and cringeworthy.Scott instead of Richard Dawkins; how sure am I that this is the right path? Then I make a principled decision to avoid saying it – or say it only in a very careful way – in order to protect my reputation and ability to participate in society. This is an informational tour in which students gain a basic understanding of geologic time, the evidence for events in Earth’s history, relative and absolute dating techniques, and the significance of the Geologic Time Scale.
I’m pretty embarassed by Parable On Obsolete Ideologies, which I wrote eight years ago.And old people mostly seem to go around being really conservative and saying that everything was better in the old days and the youth are corrupt and Facebook is going to be the death of us.I could model this as two different processes – a real wisdom-related process that ends exactly where I am now, plus a false rose-colored-glasses-related process that ends with your crotchety great-uncle talking about how things have been going downhill since the war – but that’s a lot of special pleading.Imagine someone reading enough newspapers that they hear all of the worst and scariest things, and maybe start thinking that the country is 50% Nazis and 50% violent antifa.Is the resulting pessimism and paranoia really wisdom?